[No surviving envelope]

T. S.Eliot
Faber & Faber Ltd
Letter 56
27 November 1943
Dearest Emily

I was much relieved to get your cable, telephoned to me from the postoffice this morning: and I trust that it is being followed by a letter which will explain exactly what you did have in mind! You speak of a ‘Christmas play’ in Boston of which I have not heard before; I wonder whether it has anything to do with the school in Concord. I also want more information about your life in Concord. No letter this week.

I needed something to cheer me up a bit; becausede la Mares, thegive TSE wartime refuge;a6de la Mare, Richardde la Mares, the what with being very tired from my weekend in Hadham (pleasant enough, but it is a large unheated house, the weather was very cold and foggy, the hot water was never hot, and they do not go to bed very early) and continuous activities (my work interrupted by visits from 2 American sergeants, an American lieutenant to lunch, and a Canadian Captain and an English private – the sort of visitors whom I feel it a duty to make room for), having to conduct a large and not very easy meeting, theSt. Anne's Church House, Soho'Culture Class';a4 usual night at St. Anne’s House, having to devote a day at Shamley, before going to Hadham, toChristian News-Letter (CNL)'Responsibility and Power';c4 re-writingOldham, Joseph;e5 a supplement for Oldham’s New-Letter, aNew English Weekly;c2 meetingElliot, Walter;a1 of the New English group with Walter Elliot1 as guest; andSecond World Warbombing of German cities;d9 what with the bombing of Berlin, which fills me with horror,2 theEducational Reform bill (1944 Education Act);a2 Education Bill3 and the general dark outlook for the future of the world, I have not been in the best of spirits. ISt. Anne's Church House, Sohofinal 'Culture Class';a5 have my last evening at St. Anne’s House tomorrow night – for which I have spent yesterday in preparation, and must stop over in London until Friday, forSword of the Spirit, Thecommittee meetings of;a1 a meeting of the Joint Committee of the Sword of the Spirit and Religion of Life: the following week I shall not have to go up to town until Tuesday, and hope that I can manage with only two nights. After this week, I must try to think of possible Christmas presents for my god-children: in the end it will be nothing but Faber children’s books and cash. I believe there will be some toys on the market, and probably six would-be purchasers for every toy: as for older people, only a person with nothing to do could take the time to hunt out possible presents.

RobertGeorge, Robert Esmonde Gordon ('Robert Sencourt')TSE's mixed feelings toward;c7Sencourt, RobertGeorge, Robert Esmonde Gordon ('Robert Sencourt') Sencourt is coming to lunch to-day, and I wish he wasn’t, because the result of the early tramp to church in the dark, and back, is that I feel very sleepy after lunch on Sunday; and the worst of lunch guests in the country is that they stop till tea time, or until dusk. HeFaló, Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart y, 17th Duke of Alba;a3 turns up from time to time to spend a weekend at the Duke of Alba’s, five miles from here. I regard him with a mixed feeling of mild affection and extreme irritation; furthermore, he offers us books to publish (having nothing to do but write books) which I always have to refuse. His political views are often misguided, and his literary taste poor; and he is (what is more exhausting than any other quality in a human being) rather pathetic.

I hope that at the end of this week I shall feel more energetic – not from being rested, but from the prospect of a comparatively light period ahead of me.

Your loving

1.WalterElliot, Walter Elliot Elliot (1888–1958), British parliamentarian (Scottish Unionist Party).

2.Royal Air Force Bomber Command, led by Sir Arthur Harris, launched the Battle of Berlin with fierce attacks on the German capital on 18–19 and 22–23 Nov. Damaging raids on Berlin continued until March 1944, with severe casualties also among the attackers, but did not achieve the decisive results that Harris hoped and claimed that they would.

3.A White Paper introduced by the wartime coalition government (R. A. Butler, President of the Board of Education), laid the ground for the 1944 Education Act, which set up the Ministry of Education and established the framework for post-war education in England and Wales.

Christian News-Letter (CNL), TSE's way of writing for, described, first number, TSE's commitment to as war work, TSE on Papal Encyclical, TSE's colleagues not quite friends, becoming too politic for TSE, features TSE on Wells's New World Order, 'Education in a Mass Society', TSE's guest-editorship of, TSE gives talk for, relocates to Oxford, 'Responsibility and Power', TSE, Hambleden and Mrs Bliss discuss,
de la Mares, the, TSE forgoes EH's invitation for, TSE's dread of visiting, give dinner for the Morleys, give TSE wartime refuge, the children, teach TSE vingt-et-un,
Educational Reform bill (1944 Education Act), TSE fears being asked about, TSE defends position on,
Elliot, Walter,

1.WalterElliot, Walter Elliot Elliot (1888–1958), British parliamentarian (Scottish Unionist Party).

Faló, Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart y, 17th Duke of Alba,

1.JacoboFaló, Jacobo Fitz-James Stuart y, 17th Duke of Alba Fitz-James Stuart y Faló, 17th Duke of Alba (1878–1953), Spanish nobleman, diplomat and politician, held among other titles the dukedoms of Alba de Tormes and Berwick.

George, Robert Esmonde Gordon ('Robert Sencourt'), in thumbnail, staying with the Eliots, records TSE's argument with Koteliansky, recites chapter from new book, creates harmony between the Eliots, offers to lend TSE fur coat, relays gossip about VHE, stirs up situation, extends invitation to Cairo, and Stead visit Campden, forces himself on TSE, TSE's mixed feelings toward, The Life of Newman,

3.RobertGeorge, Robert Esmonde Gordon ('Robert Sencourt') Esmonde Gordon George – Robert Sencourt (1890–1969) – critic, historian, biographer: see Biographical Register.

New English Weekly, TSE joins editorial committee of, discussed with Mairet, TSE writing 'Views and Reviews' for, and Edward VIII, TSE's natural post-Criterion home, two contributions to, TSE attacks H. G. Wells in, prints East Coker, commission TSE on Keynes,
Oldham, Joseph, lunches with TSE, convenes discussion of contemporary Christianity, at the Unemployment Conference, éminence grise in Council for Life and Work, hearing improved, spearheading anti-Nazi Church movement, puts TSE up to BBC talk, sent TSE's Revelation contribution, which he prizes, organises Lambeth Council, initiates 'Moot', and the Moot, first Moot meeting, bewails mankind, anointed reader of Boutwood Lectures, founds new wartime committee, which meets, sent drafts for CNL, as editor of CNL, views diverge from those of TSE, pleased with TSE's education supplement, needs holiday, convenes education group meeting, propagates yet another religious body, his style, to meet Michael Roberts, Church, Community and State,
see also Oldhams, the

8.JosephOldham, Joseph (‘Joe’) Houldsworth Oldham (1874–1969), missionary, adviser, organiser: see Biographical Register.

St. Anne's Church House, Soho, initial meeting at, TSE's connection with, TSE chairs talk at, 'Culture Class', final 'Culture Class', lunch-hour Lenten talk for,
Second World War, the prospect of, F&F plans in the event of, Britain's preparations for, prognostications as to its outbreak, and The Family Reunion, and the policy of appeasement, and transatlantic tourism, evacuation imminent, TSE discusses its outbreak with Dutchman, TSE refrains from commenting on, TSE's thoughts on, its effect on TSE, the 'Winter War', the 'Phoney War', Molotov–Ribbentrop pact, rationing, evacuation, seems continuous with First World War, invasion of Poland, invasion of Denmark and Norway, Chamberlain's resignation, Italy's declaration of war, Dunkirk, The Blitz, Battle of Cape Matapan, Operation Barbarossa, Greece enters war, Pearl Harbor, the Pacific War, Libyan campaign, North African campaign, and TSE's decision to remain in England, in relation to the First, prospect of its end unsettles, and returning to London, bombing of German cities, its effect on TSE's work, prognostications as to its end, the Little Blitz, Operation Overlord, V-1 Cruise Missile strikes, Operation Market Garden, and continental privations, and post-war European prospects, The Battle of the Bulge, possibility of post-war pandemic, V-2 Bombs, concentration camps, Germany's surrender, VE Day, and post-war Anglo-American relations, VJ Day, atomic bomb, its long-term economic consequences,
Sword of the Spirit, The, committee meetings of,